Saving money isn’t always as simple as the oft-prescribed “put it away and don’t touch it” advice makes it seem. With financial concerns constantly tugging at our attention, it can be difficult to find the time and money to save for future goals, events or the unavoidable emergency.
Luckily for the tech-savvy, the fintech revolution gave rise to mobile apps designed to help you save money — and make saving a bit more interesting, to boot. Read on to discover the best money savings apps to help you save for short-term goals like a vacation, long-term goals like a home or college education and pad your all-too-important emergency fund.
App Store: 4.8 stars, Google Play: 4.6 stars
Standard financial advice suggests keeping three to six months worth of monthly expenses stashed away in an emergency fund, just in case you run into a financial emergency. Chime, a mobile-only bank, hopes its app’s automatic savings features may just help you beat the status quo and make it a little less painful to finally build up your emergency fund. The Chime app is free and available for both iOS and Android devices.
When you enroll in direct deposit, Chime can automatically transfer a percentage of each paycheck into a separate Chime savings account for you. If you’re enrolled in Chime’s automatic savings program, the bank will also automatically round up each transaction made with your Chime Visa debit card and deposit the amount into your savings account, too.
App Store: 4.8 stars, Google Play: 4.3 stars
With Qapital, you can set customizable autosave rules for just about anything, so you can save money simply with the actions you take. You can set custom rules: for example, you can save a certain amount of money for your car fund each time you pay for a public transit ticket or fill up the tank for that friend who drives you to work.
Qapital has a bunch of other ways to help you save up, too. With the round up rule, the app will round up all of your transactions and automatically transfer the difference to your designated goal account. So each time you pay for anything, you will have a little bit of money going toward your goal.
The spend less rule saves whenever you spend less than a certain amount with a retailer or in a certain spending category, and the guilty pleasure rule saves a certain amount whenever you spend on a chosen guilty pleasure, like ordering takeout.
App Store: 4.7 stars, Google Play: 4.5 stars
Acorns is an investing app popular for letting its users invest the spare change from their daily transactions with its Acorns Personal option. With Acorns Personal, the app automatically rounds up your transactions to the nearest dollar and invests the difference into your chosen investment portfolios.
Acorns also has a retirement savings feature called Acorns Later. With Acorns Later, you can invest your money in an independent retirement account (IRA) and set recurring contributions from your linked account. You can invest using a Roth IRA, Traditional IRA or SEP IRA. The exchange-traded funds in your investment portfolio will automatically adjust to fit your needs over time based on your retirement date and goals. You can’t have Acorns Later without having Acorns Personal, and having both costs the user $2 per month.
The Acorns app is free and available for both Android and iOS devices.